UNSEEN (Outcast Season #3) by Rachel Caine

Posted 20 April, 2011 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | | 0 Comments

Urban Fantasy (adult)
320 pages
Available now
Review copy purchased

After Cassiel and Warden Luis Rocha rescue an adept child from a maniacal Djinn, they realize two things: the girl is already manifesting an incredible amount of power, and her kidnapping was not an isolated incident.

This Djinn-aided by her devoted followers-is capturing children all over the world, and indoctrinating them so she can use their strength for herself. With no other options, Cassiel infiltrates the Djinn’s organization-because if Cassiel cannot stop the Djinn’s apocalyptic designs, all of humanity may be destroyed

I have to admit, I go all fangirl when a new Rachel Caine arrives in my mailbox and Unseen is no exception. Set in the same world as the Weather Warden novels (another rockin’ series, if you’re into urban fantasy), Unseen is the third in the series featuring the ex-Djinn, Cassiel, and her human Warden, Luis. (Since this is the third in the series, there are some spoilers if you haven’t read the prior novels.)

Cassiel is growing more comfortable in her human skin, experiencing emotions on a level she never felt as a Djinn, and actually growing to love the humans she’s surrounded by. She’s not entirely sure she likes this new compassion. It makes her vulnerable in ways she never was when she was a Djinn. This includes caring for and loving humans like little Ibby and, of course, Luis. However, she never loses her practicality and willingness to do what’s necessary, no matter what the consequences might be (oh, and there are some serious consequences).

Speaking of that hot Weather Warden Luis, things are moving along quite swimmingly between Cass and Luis. As in, they’re finally getting together-together. Oh, thank all that is good—the sexual tension between the two of them was about to kill me! Except, despite the ongoing tension and their every-growing feelings for each other, Luis’s first priority is his niece, Ibby, and protecting her from the psychotic Djinn Pearl, and Cass’s priority is stopping Pearl without offing all of humanity. While that seems like that would go hand-in-hand, it doesn’t. Those crazy kids. I have faith they’ll work it out, especially considering they really do care for one another and, despite their differences, they just have such a fantastic connection.

Added into the mix are Djinn from Cass’s past: Rashid and Ashan. Rashid has always fascinated me, popping in unexpectedly, interfering in Cass’s now-human life, and lending aid when least expected but most needed. Then disappearing. And then there’s Ashan. If you’ve read any of the Weather Warden series, you’re familiar with Ashan and his distain for human-kind. He’s perfectly comfortable ordering Cassiel to wipe out the human race in order to stop Pearl and then turning Cass into a human as punishment when she refuses. So, when he pops up back on her radar, she’s somewhat unsure how to deal with him, especially with all those new-to-her human emotions roiling around in her brain. I have the feeling we’ll be seeing more of him in the very near future.

Rachel Caine seems to take inordinate pleasure in torturing her characters. She takes the writers’ maxim of making characters’ lives miserable to a higher level. I’m awed—and a little scared—every time I pick up a book to find out what torture is in store for the characters. Cassiel gets dumped on hard core. Characters die right and left (Just a little warning—don’t get attached to anyone new. Most of them don’t make it very long in the Outcast world.). Ibby grows up way too fast and is forced to make decisions no one under seven should ever have to make. Unseen is an action-packed, tension-filled story that will have you reading late into the night.

Crossposted to Book Binge.

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